Grimaldi Signs NHL Deal with Florida
CHN Staff Report
North Dakota redshirt sophomore Rocco Grimaldi has signed an entry-level contract with the NHL's Florida Panthers.
Grimaldi, 21, most recently helped lead North Dakota to the Frozen Four, after being named MVP of the NCAA Midwest Regional. The Rossmoor, Calif., native completed the 2013-14 season first among all UND players in goals (17) and assists (22).
“We are very pleased to have reached a contract agreement with Rocco,” Florida general manager Dale Tallon. “He is a hard working forward who possesses speed along with great vision on the ice. We look forward to his continued growth and development within our organization.”
Grimaldi was injured early in his freshman season, and wound up taking a medical redshirt. He came back in 2012-13 to place on the All-WCHA Rookie Team, scoring 13 goals and 36 points. For his career at North Dakota, the forward played in 86 games recording 77 points (31-46-77).
“I felt I was ready for a new challenge in life,” Grimaldi told the Grand Forks Herald. “I loved my three years here. I played with a lot of great players, the coaches were awesome and the city is incredible. It’s definitely a place that I’ll come back to often. I can’t thank the coaches and my teammates enough for helping me.”
On the international level, Grimaldi won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2013 World Junior Championship, scoring the game winner in the championship game against Sweden. He also won a gold medal at the 2010 Under-18 World Championship.
Grimaldi was drafted by Florida with their second choice (33rd overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft.